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Fellows of the Centre on Constitutional Change respond to the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons and the impending no-confidence vote in the government.

Professor Nicola McEwen, Co-Director of the Centre, said of the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement:

“The government’s defeat in the Commons may have been of epic proportions, but the MPs who voted against it did so for very different reasons. That makes finding an alternative way forward extraordinarily difficult.

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The Supreme Court's ruling on the Scottish Continuity Bill gave both sides something but acknowledged that the vast bulk of the Bill was within Holyrood's competence at the time it was passed however, suggests Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, the strong feeling that devolved interests are not taken seriously highlights underlying fractures within the Union. 
 
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The path to Brexit has once again been blocked, seemingly on the issue of the Irish border and the implications for the peace process launched by the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). The GFA, while ending the violence of the Troubles, has not been a complete success. Political and social relations between the unionist and nationalist communities remain tense and there has been little sign of the community divisions fading away. The power-sharing institutions have been suspended for nearly two years in the absence of agreement.
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Disagreements between the UK, Welsh and Scottish Governments are about more than inter-party rivalry, says Nicola McEwen, they reflect a very real disagreement about how policy can be made - and by whom. 
 
It is statement of the obvious to say that the fate of the draft Withdrawal Agreement is in some doubt. In addition to opposition from pro-Brexit (and some pro-Remain) Conservatives, the opposition parties appear united in their resolve to vote against the agreement when it comes to Parliament. 
 
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    Richard Parry assesses a memorable day in UK parliamentary history as the Commons splits 432-202 on 15 January 2019 against the Government's recommended Brexit route. It was the most dramatic night at Westminster since the Labour government’s defeat on a confidence motion in 1979.

  • 17th January 2019

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  • 17th January 2019

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  • 16th January 2019

    Fellows of the Centre on Constitutional Change respond to the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons and the impending no-confidence vote in the government.

  • 11th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses the unfolding drama at Westminster around no-deal scenarios. The deal ‘would be an uncomfortable outcome for the EU: providing quota-fee, tariff-free access to the EU market without any accompanying financial obligations; without any access to UK fishing waters in the absence of further agreement; and without any commitments to align with the majority of so-called level playing field arrangements’. For Tory leavers, what’s not to like in this negotiating triumph for Theresa May?

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